SPORTING groups claim the cost of participating in Mar 26, 2008 12:43:52 GMT -5
Post by Flash on Mar 26, 2008 12:43:52 GMT -5
SPORTING groups claim the cost of participating in grassroots sport will rise if proposed laws to limit alcohol advertising on television and radio are passed.
But welfare groups have called for an outright ban on alcohol advertising in submissions to the Senate inquiry on liquor marketing that were made public thisweek.
Calls were also made for the use of sports stars to promote alcohol brands to be prohibited, and for proposed restrictions for TV and radio to be extended to other media, including magazines and the internet.
The welfare lobby did not hold back in several submissions this week that claimed the proposed alcohol advertising bill - which would require health labels to be put on alcohol products and ban TV and radio alcohol advertising between 5am and 9pm, as well as introduce other restrictions - did not go far enough.
"We strongly believe that advertising of alcohol beverages should be totally banned, with the exception of promotional materials displayed inside liquor shops, pubs and bars," the Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (NSW) submission states.
The Northern Territory Police called for the proposed ban to include "the promotion of alcohol products via highly prominent sporting stars".
But sporting bodies as well as broadcasters and advertisers, who are facing calls for increased regulation on several fronts, argued strongly against the proposed laws.
The Coalition of Major Professional Sports, which represents seven key sporting bodies, predicted the bill could drive up the cost of grassroots sports by reducing the advertising revenue broadcasters could attract and therefore the broadcast rights fees that sports could demand.
COMPS, which represents all four football codes as well as golf, tennis and cricket, estimated between 5 per cent and 23 per cent of sports' revenue came directly from alcohol sponsorship: "There is a possibility of compromising the primary commercial driver in modern professional sporting business models," its submission says.
"The potential impact ... may ultimately contribute to an increase in the direct financial or societal cost being passed on to consumers."
In all, 65 submissions to the Senate inquiry on alcohol advertising sparked by Stephen Fielding's Alcohol Toll Reduction Bill were published. It is due to report back by June 18.
Submissions closed last week as another inquiry was called into the broadcasting codes of practice that restrict swearing on TV and radio.
The advertising industry is already facing a Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children in the media.
Earlier this month Kevin Rudd announced a $53 million program to tackle binge drinking.
A submission from Free TV Australia, which represents the commercial networks, says the proposed restrictions on alcohol advertising unfairly targeted broadcasters as only 25 per cent of alcohol advertising dollars were spent on TV, compared with 48 per cent in print.
"(Extending the alcohol ban from 8.30pm to 9pm) is an inefficient method of reducing young people's exposure to alcohol advertising," the Free TV submission states.
"The proposed restriction would impact strongly on the advertising and sponsorship revenue associated with sporting coverage."
The Advertising Federation of Australia struck at other parts of the bill that proposed a new alcohol advertising pre-approval system, arguing there was an unfounded prejudice in the bill against self-regulatory schemes such as the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code that presently regulates alcohol advertising.
That view was supported by the Australasian Associated Brewers' submission, which says ABAC has been tested by three government review processes in the past five years.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," the AAB writes.
But Family Drug Support called for restrictions on alcohol marketing to mirror those on cigarette advertising by including a ban on all TV and radio ads, as well as promotion of sporting and recreational events by liquor companies.